Frequently Asked Questions

What is the School Digital Champion programme?
What is a School Digital Champion?
What will the School Digital Champion team do?
What are the project themes?
Does our school have to take part in the programme?
How does the programme impact on the other projects undertaken by your school?
What are the benefits of taking part in the School Digital Champion programme?
Is it a competition?
What is the application process?
What is the project report ?
What is the timeline for the programme?
Where can I get more information?

 

What is the School Digital Champion programme?
It is a new initiative developed by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in collaboration with Department of Education and Skills. This programme is in line with the National Digital Strategy and the Digital Strategy for Schools.  The programme will motivate, encourage and support schools in embracing digital technology. It will also increase awareness of digital as a career. Schools will select a team of students as their School Digital Champions, who will participate in a project based challenge. 


What is a School Digital Champion?
A School Digital Champion is a student selected by the school as a potential leader or role model in the application and development of digital technology and content.


What will the School Digital Champion team do?

The School Digital Champions will:

a) complete a project related to one of the themes outlined in question four below.

b)  take part in a training day which will provide  workshops tailored to meet the needs identified in their Application Form.

b) gain exposure to leading technology companies through a series of site visits and talks from leading technology companies when actively participating in the programme.

d) network with other School Digital Champions.

e) showcase all completed projects at an event in May 2018.

 

What are the project themes?
There are three School Digital Champion project themes, Local Enterprise, Local Community and School/Home. Students must show how they can use digital technology and skills to make a difference by completing a project under one of these themes.   


Does our school have to take part in the programme?
No, this is an optional programme. It is an opportunity for your school to be a part of an exciting new initiative, which will promote the use of technology in the classroom and improve learning outcomes  for the students.


How does the programme impact on the other projects undertaken by your school?
The School Digital Champion Programme can complement existing programmes.  School Digital Champions can provide digital expertise and support  to other projects  like the Young Scientist, F1 in Schools, An Gaisce or similar projects.


What are the benefits of taking part in the School Digital Champion programme?

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • attend a skills training day, which will provide workshops tailored to meet the needs identified in the application form
  • meet leading technology companies on pre-arranged dates
  • enhance key skills through collaborative work
  • showcase the high level of digital skills they have acquired, not just in their school, but also on a wider platform at a special event in May 2018. 

Teachers will have the opportunity to:

  • promote project based learning and knowledge creation through the use of new technologies
  • use a solution focussed technology challenge to engage their students with real world challenges
  • participate in a training day based on the needs identified in the application form.

Schools will have the opportunity to:

  • provide their students a unique opportunity to participate in a new, exciting and innovative programme that has the potential to involve learning at many levels;
  • provide schools with a platform to recognise these students who are pioneers in the use of new technologies;
  • lead learning through the use of new technologies;
  • enable your students to make a real difference through the use of technology.


Is it a competition?
No. The focus of the programme is on active participation rather than a competitive endeavour. During the previous years' programmes this was welcomed by teachers who stated that it was a more inclusive and provided for all levels of IT skills. They also found that it motivated and inspired students to share knowledge and and work together. Moreover it introduced them to career opportunities in the digital arena.

 

What is the application process?
A letter has issued to all second level school Principals  from Ministers Denis Naughten and Richard Bruton inviting your school to participate in the programme. Please inform the students about the programme. Your school selects a team of Champions. A team of Champions (maximum 4) can be made up of interested students from different classes or from students in different years in your school. It may work well to choose a team with a mix of digital knowledge and technical experience, as well as a range of organisational skills. The next step is to collaborate and agree on the digital project to be pursued under one of the three main project themes (see details of the project themes at question 4 above). Visit our application page for more details and all the required application forms. The closing date for completion of all projects is 19 April 2018.


What is the project report ?
As part of the School Digital Champion project, students must  complete a report which should include the following information:
 
  • What is the project?
  • What is the project called?
  • What software did the team use?
  • Can the project be accessed online and where?
  • What are the aims and objectives of the project?
  • How was the project undertaken?
  • What were the results of the project?
  • How can you make the project sustainable?
  • What was the key learning from the project?
  • What supports were the most beneficial?
  • What advice can you give to future School Digital Champions?

We will issue a report template to all schools prior to the closing date.

  • Timeline 2017/2018

October 2017

  • 26 October - School to submit the completed online School Digital Champion Application Form. 
  • 26 October - School to submit a copy of signed parental consent form for each School Digital Champion to schooldigitalchampion@dccae.gov.ie 
  • Students commence work on their projects. Material from last year's workshops can be accessed on last year's            training page

December 2017 / January 2018

  • We will provided a skills training day, consisting of various workshops for teachers and students.

March/April 2018

  • March/Early April - Site visits to industry partners will be organised for School Digital Champions and their teachers who are actively participating in the programme.

May 2018

  • Completed projects will be showcased at a national event where the School Digital Champions will be presented with their Certificates of Participation.

 

 

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Where can I get more information?

School Digital Champion Project Office,

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment,

Elm House,

Earlsvale Road,

Cavan  H12 A8H7.

schooldigitalchampion@dccae.gov.ie